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Saturday, July 21
(...continued from previous page)
As we rode the waterbus back to the main islands, we steamed past the mysterious 'isle of the dead': the cemetery island of San Michele. Venice itself has no room for cemeteries, so in the 1800s it was decided that burials were to take place here. With high brick walls coming right to the island's edge, it is a secretive and foreboding-looking place.
The Cemetery Island
Cappella Emiliani
Important looking group
courtesy PChen
courtesy PChen
A water bus
Jenn and Laura
Jenn on water bus
The bus driver
Dwarfing the bus
The Biennale is a world-famous 100+ year-old contemporary art exhibition that takes place every two years. Pu was especially excited to visit the Biennale - he has a degree in industrial design and in that world, the Biennale is a revered event.

The water-bus dropped us off at a stop just metres from the entrance to the 'Giardini' (Garden) section of the Biennale. The signature bold-red slab that signifies the Biennale stood ten metres high above us. We didn't have a lot of time before we had to start heading back to the mainland, so we got our watches synchronized, lined up for tickets, and headed in.
courtesy PChen
Here at last!
Anxiously purchasing tickets
Strolling through the Giardini
The Biennale is divided into two main sections: the Giardini (or Gardens) and the Arsenale. The Giardini is located in a leafy wooded park-like setting (rare for Venice), and consists of about thirty modern-looking country pavilion buildings. The host country of each building hosts the artistic works of someone (or more than one) from that country. The Arsenale is located in the old 'Arsenal' - the industrial-era ship- building zone of Venice, where the old buildings exude a strong sense of run-down, iron-and-stone industrial-style elegance.
courtesy PChen
Venezuelan Art
The Venezuelan Pavilion
Cool painting
The exhibitions in the country pavilions were an eclectic mix of abstract art - some simple and static, and some complex and mechanical or electrical. Highlights were the vertical 'river of video' in the Russian pavilion; the huge wide-screen real-life paintings in the Venezuelan pavilion; the optical-illusion-y endless array of dartboards in the nordic countries pavilion; and the crystals-with-rotting-flesh-and- vegetation figures of the Canadian pavilion. And much, much more...
courtesy PChen
courtesy PChen
Video cascade
The Russian Pavilion
A dartboard wall
Undersized Asian Male Complex
courtesy PChen
Oh Canada!
The theme: rotting?
Clinical and sinister
courtesy PChen
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